Contribution of sorghum to productivity of small-holder irrigation schemes: On-farm research in the Senegal River Valley, Mauritania
In Mauritania, most irrigated land was designed for, and remains devoted to, rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivation. Decades after introduction, however, yield remains below expectations, irrigated land is gradually being abandoned, and now crop diversification is promoted to improve sustainability of irrigated agriculture. This paper presents evidence of the potential, and limitations, of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) cropping in small-holder irrigation schemes along the Mauritanian side of the Senegal River Valley. Results are based on 3-years of on-farm participatory research (2007–2009) carried out at five irrigation schemes in collaboration with farmers and national research and extension services. Grain yield, water productivity and gross margin of sorghum and rice were compared at plot level. Global average grain yield over years and schemes was 2.5tha−1 for sorghum, ranging from 1.7tha−1 to 3.2tha−1, compared to 5.6tha−1 for rice, ranging from 4.0tha−1 to 7.3tha−1, even though both crops had similar total above-ground biomass at maturity. Sorghum required less irrigation water than rice (435 vs. 601mm) but the smaller yield resulted in similar irrigation water productivity (0.87 vs. 0.96kgm−3) and fuel (pumping) productivity (1.71 vs. 1.93kgMJ−1). Despite smaller yields, however, sorghum profitability was significantly greater than rice (1172 vs. 788 € ha−1), due to higher market price and, in the case of one scheme, lower irrigation costs. Main constraints identified in sorghum cropping were (i) poor crop establishment because of late sowing and water logging; (ii) neglected weed management; and (iii) mismatch between irrigation delivery schedules and water requirements. The causes of these constraints are particularities of rice production systems (design and heavy soil) and farmers’ habits acquired with traditional rainfed sorghum cropping during the wet season.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mastrorilli, M. & Katerji, N. & Rana, G., 1995. "Water efficiency and stress on grain sorghum at different reproductive stages," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 23-34, August.
- Miet Maertens & Liesbeth Colen & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2008.
"Globalization and Poverty in Senegal: A Worst Case Scenario?,"
LICOS Discussion Papers
21708, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
- Miet Maertens & Liesbeth Colen & Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2011. "Globalisation and poverty in Senegal: a worst case scenario?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 31-54, March.
- Maertens, Miet & Colen, Liesbeth & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Globalization and Poverty in Senegal: A Worst Case Scenario?," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51668, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Tolk, Judy A. & Howell, Terry A., 2003. "Water use efficiencies of grain sorghum grown in three USA southern Great Plains soils," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 97-111, March.
- Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, potentials and paradigm," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 1437-1454, October.
- Connor, David & Comas, Jordi & Macpherson, Helena-Gomez & Mateos, Luciano, 2008. "Impact of small-holder irrigation on the agricultural production, food supply and economic prosperity of a representative village beside the Senegal River, Mauritania," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-3), pages 1-15, March.
- Zwart, Sander J. & Bastiaanssen, Wim G. M., 2004. "Review of measured crop water productivity values for irrigated wheat, rice, cotton and maize," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 115-133, September.
- Chambers, Robert, 1994. "Participatory rural appraisal (PRA): Analysis of experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1253-1268, September.
- Comas, Jordi & Connor, David & Isselmou, Mohamed El Moctar & Mateos, Luciano & Gómez-Macpherson, Helena, 2012. "Why has small-scale irrigation not responded to expectations with traditional subsistence farmers along the Senegal River in Mauritania?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 152-161.
- Dingkuhn, M. & Singh, B.B. & Clerget, B. & Chantereau, J. & Sultan, B., 2006. "Past, present and future criteria to breed crops for water-limited environments in West Africa," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 80(1-3), pages 241-261, February.
- Poussin, Jean-Christophe & Diallo, Youssouf & Legoupil, Jean-Claude, 2006. "Improved collective decision-making in action for irrigated rice farmers in the Senegal River Valley," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 299-323, September.
- García-Bolaños, Mariana & Borgia, Cecilia & Poblador, Noemí & Dia, Mamadou & Seyid, Ould Mohamed Vadel & Mateos, Luciano, 2011. "Performance assessment of small irrigation schemes along the Mauritanian banks of the Senegal River," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(7), pages 1141-1152, May.
- Mateos, Luciano & Lozano, David & Baghil, Ahmed Baba Ould & Diallo, Oumar Abdoul & Gómez-Macpherson, Helena & Comas, Jordi & Connor, David, 2010. "Irrigation performance before and after rehabilitation of a representative, small irrigation scheme besides the Senegal River, Mauritania," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(6), pages 901-909, June.
- Tolk, J.A. & Howell, T.A., 2008. "Field water supply:yield relationships of grain sorghum grown in three USA Southern Great Plains soils," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(12), pages 1303-1313, December.
- Aune, Jens B. & Bationo, André, 2008. "Agricultural intensification in the Sahel - The ladder approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 119-125, September.
- Chambers, Robert, 1994. "The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 953-969, July.
- Verheye, W. H., 1995. "Impact of climate and soil conditions on conception and implementation of irrigation schemes in the Senegal River basin," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-94, August.
- Farre, Imma & Faci, Jose Maria, 2006. "Comparative response of maize (Zea mays L.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) to deficit irrigation in a Mediterranean environment," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 135-143, May.
- Ahmed, M. M. & Sanders, J. H. & Nell, W. T., 2000. "New sorghum and millet cultivar introduction in Sub-Saharan Africa: impacts and research agenda," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 55-65, April.
- Farah, S. M. & Salih, A. A. & Taha, A. M. & Ali, Z. I. & Ali, I. A., 1997. "Grain sorghum response to supplementary irrigations under post-rainy season conditions," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 31-41, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:115:y:2013:i:c:p:72-82. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.